Who Do You Think You Are? – Rupert Everett

27 Jul

To be honest I was a little disappointed with last night’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? I must also confess that I still have no idea who Rupert Everett actually is (I obviously don’t waste enough time watching TV and films), although I did miss the first couple of minutes which would probably have told me more about his career.

The story was more interesting to me than last week’s episode, there at least appeared to be some proper research research going on, but my first complaint was that there were too many loose ends left dangling.

It appeared on screen that virtually no effort was put into finding out what happened to the wives of Frederick William Cunningham Everett when he sailed off into the sunset. I am sure some more research must have been done, but if the only searches were the two census searches that we saw on screen then I am not surprised that his first wife wasn’t found.

It was almost as if they were leaving that avenue of research open for some audience participation, but they weren’t quite bold enough to say it. I am sure there will be plenty of people online today looking for her, trying to prove they can do a better job than the show’s researchers.

What really frustrated me the most were Everett’s ‘flights of fantasy’. He seemed to have a very vivid imagination and lack of hard evidence seemed to allow him ample opportunity to fill in the gaps. The informant on Frederick’s death certificate “must be some old sailor hag”, even though all he knew was a name (not even a first name just initials and a surname) and address.

I can’t let the use of the word “navvy” go unmentioned. Someone please correct me if I am wrong but merchant seamen, or any other type of sailors, have never been called navvies. I always thought navvy was short for navigator, and that navvies were the labourers responsible for building canals and railways.

Two episodes into this latest series and it is starting to seem to me that it has reached the end of it’s life. It will be interesting to see what the ratings say, but this avid genealogist is beginning to wonder if it is worth watching the rest of the series.

5 Responses to “Who Do You Think You Are? – Rupert Everett”

  1. familyforest January 19, 2011 at 12:27 am #

    Curious have you seen the American episodes from last season? I wonder what you thought of some of them?


  2. Lesley July 17, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    This programme has just been aired in Melbourne, Australia this evening. I have to agree about the wives (that’s the exact reason why I’ve discovered this blog). I have found people inexplicably missing from one census only to turn up in the next, and my as yet unmarried grandparents eluded me in the 1911 census at first because their names were recorded incorrectly. I’m still quite chuffed to have found one ancestor in an earlier census as the name was a huge departure from what it ought to have been, but it was clearly the correct person. I can’t remember how I found her but I know it involved being a bit creative with my searching.

    As for Everett’s imagination, the programme did at least show him discovering that several things were not what he originally fancied them to be. Oddly enough I had a feeling the information about the maritime ancestor’s death on the son’s marriage certificate would prove to be incorrect; as it did.

  3. R McLachlan July 17, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

    As noted by others, some of the research was rather shallow and incomplete. Or at least it was made to seem that way – in a dumbing down way. The real breakthrough in the programme was the discovery of Rupert’s great aunt, which was never explained. How was she found? There was no real explanation. The phone call announcing her discovery was clearly staged. Indeed, much of the programme had a staged. rehearsed, feel to it.


  1. Homes for Little Boys « Looking at Local History - July 29, 2010

    […] people you want to know more about get shoved aside. The Everett women were pretty much ignored. The Wandering Genealogist was not impressed by this and other failings but, not surprisingly, the Find My Past blog is […]

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